One Night with the King

If you’d like to watch a film with plenty of intrigue, romance and lavish sets; then this is for you.

The film faithfully follows the biblical story of Esther and excels in adding details from other historical sources. ‘One Night with the King’ is a beautifully crafted love story, set amongst all the political skullduggery and backstabbing which ultimately elevates Haman to his position of power.

It opens with an interesting flashback to Samuel’s killing of Agag, as a background to Haman’s hatred of the Jews. Supposition, yes, but very plausible. Esther is portrayed as a very outgoing young woman, who desires to return to Jerusalem. Mordecai, a palace scribe, struggles with life in Susa and is frightened to rock the boat for fear of retribution against the Jews.

As Vashti is exiled, Esther gradually wins Xerxes’ affection and the process of selecting the new queen comes to a moving conclusion. Then the intrigue continues with poisonings and knives in the back until the tables are turned on Haman through Esther’s dramatic entrance and intervention in Xerxes’ court.

I would heartily recommend this film to every family. Children under ten might find some of the plot difficult to follow without help but I’m sure you’ll all enjoy this together.

- Mike Fielder

"Lunga" A Rivers View by Gareth Duffty

The morning sun broke through the bedroom window, a new day opened; I got up and sat on the front porch bathed in warm winter sunlight.   I looked out over the flowing ‘Lunga’ River; I am in Mwinilunga, Zambia, sitting watching a deep river


                                                         Smoke that Thunders

 moving slowly but unabated, a deep green rich and constant movement, unabated and withstanding all that stood in its way over the centuries.

As I mused the flowing river I realised I am not only sitting on the edge of this river, but some 35 miles (56 Kilometers) away we find the conclusion of one of the most historic missionary searches throughout southern Africa by a European, a Scottish missionary who had walked many miles to search for the source of the Zambezi River, from the powerful overwhelming Victoria Falls.    David Livingstone, a Godly man had stood here many years ago and I am just a short distance away from where he found the source of the river, the mighty Zambezi.    Today the river stands as a border between Zimbabwe and Zambia in some places; at the time of discovery it was a source of joy.

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What Do We See by Giles Paker

 Over the past few weeks I’ve been meeting with a dozen folk and we’ve been exploring what we really mean by the Kingdom of God.

 “Kingdom” is a funny word. It doesn’t seem to fit our current language or culture. In fact we’re watching our world as ancient kingdoms and autocratic dictatorships are being challenged and in some cases overthrown by uprisings of ordinary people demanding liberty.

 In Egypt, Libya and further across North Africa we see growing revolutions of everyday folk; shop keepers, engineers, computer scientists who are joining school teachers, university lecturers and nurses in seeking freedom and justice so long denied them.

 And yet for decades millions of people in these countries have been subjected to settle for far less, paralyzed by fear and unable to see that they could be galvanized into a vehicle for radical change.

  Maybe the word “Revolution” better communicates the Kingdom of God in our modern culture: “The Revolution of Hope”, “The Jesus Revolution”…after all when he talks of his kingdom, Jesus is talking about our lives, our towns and our communities being transformed by the love of God.

 On the face of it, nothing should stop us. We’ve got great news of God reconciling all of humanity to himself. We’ve got Jesus at the centre who is holy but not in a stand-offish way. He transforms. He mixes in amongst the messed up and the unclean and he makes us holy.

 So why doesn’t this Jesus Revolution sweep all before it?  I’ve been wondering whether the Church suffers from a similar paralysis, unable to see that it can be the very vehicle that God would use to bring in his Revolution of Love.

 It might sound a funny thing to say, but maybe we spend too much of our time and effort trying to just be Church with all our many meetings, events and programmes.

 It might really help us if we stopped trying to “be church” perhaps even take a holiday from “being the church” and took time to ask ourselves the question: Are we really playing an active part in God’s Great Revolution?

Read more: What Do We See by Giles Paker